Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 5, 2015

The Big Ten season is coming to a close-and the journey hasn?t followed the preseason script in many respects. That?s not unusual. There always are surprises-good and bad.

Wisconsin began the season as the league favorite. And the Badgers have delivered. But there have been some twists and turns among others teams along this junket to the Big Ten tourney, which starts next week in Chicago.

I asked five Big Ten writers who they think has been the biggest surprise team and the biggest disappointing team.

Pete DiPrimio, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel:

Surprise: Purdue and its rise from last place last season to battle for 2nd this season.
Disappointment: Nebraska by far.

Bob Baptist, Columbus Dispatch:

Surprise: Purdue.
Disappointment: Minnesota.

Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Surprise: I'll go with Maryland No. 1 and Purdue No. 1A.
Disappointment: Has to be the Gophers.

Graham Couch, Lansing State Journal:

Surprise: Purdue, though I predicted that in a preseason column. I like their coach & personnel, and did coming into the year.
Disappointment: Minnesota. A lot of guys back from an NIT championship. That's supposed to be a springboard. No interest in D.

Marcus Fuller, St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Surprise: Purdue.
Disappointment: Nebraska

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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